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Katie Ledecky is Islanders fan of Olympic proportions

The Olympic and world-champion swimmer’s uncle, Jon, is an Islanders co-owner. She’ll be watching this week from the Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb.
Katie Ledecky shows off the gold medal she won in the 800-meter freestyle at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Katie Ledecky shows off the gold medal she won in the 800-meter freestyle at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. [ CLIVE ROSE | Getty Images South America ]
Published Jun. 13

OMAHA, Neb. — Even as she attempts to qualify for her third U.S. Olympic team, champion swimmer Katie Ledecky is keeping an eye on the NHL playoffs.

Her uncle, Jon Ledecky, is a co-owner of the Islanders, the Lightning’s opponent in the league semifinals.

As the series begins Sunday, Katie will be watching from Omaha, where she is competing in the U.S. Olympic trials, which also begin today.

Related: Lightning-Islanders: Familiar foes expect another tight series

“I actually will be able to (watch) because I don’t have a race” on the opening day of the meet, she said.

“I’m thrilled. It’s so exciting.”

The Islanders are attempting to capture their first Stanley Cup since 1983, when a dynasty led by Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier and Denis Potvin won the last of four straight championships.

“I love the Islanders,” said Katie, who grew up in Bethesda, Md. “I’ve watched I think almost every regular-season game this year. During the pandemic, I made sure I was able to watch the games because it provided a little bit of entertainment. So I’m a big fan of the team, and I’ll be cheering them on.”

Related: These 5 Islanders could cause trouble for Lightning in Stanley Cup semifinals

Katie, 24, is expected to be one of the biggest stars at the Tokyo Olympics. She won four gold medals and a silver at the 2016 Games. She also has 15 world championship gold medals and is the world-record holder in the 400-, 800-, and 1,500-meter freestyle.

Jon Ledecky is planning to be in Omaha for at least some of his niece’s races, she said.

“I think he’s doing a little bit of back and forth this week, which will be interesting,” Katie said.

The Islanders are planning to move into a new arena at Belmont Park next season.

Related: Two words about Nikita Kucherov and the salary cap: tough noogies

“Obviously, I can’t go to any games right now, but in the fall they’re opening up a new arena, so I’m hoping I can go to some of those games in the fall,” Katie said.

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